CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST
The Church of God In Christ (COGIC) is one the largest Pentecostal churches in the world. It was founded by Bishop Charles Harrison Mason in 1907.
Charles Harrison Mason began his religious life in the 1890s as an ordained Baptist minister in Arkansas. However he traveled to Los Angeles, California in 1906 to participate in the Azusa Street Revival led by black evangelist Rev. William Seymour. Inspired by what he heard in Los Angeles, Mason returned to Arkansas ready to challenge many Baptist doctrines.
Although Mason and Charles Price Jones, a Baptist Pastor from Jackson Mississippi who had served as Mason’s mentor, believed in similar ideals, they differed when teaching about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and complete sanctification. Raised a Baptist, Rev. Mason was denied the right hand of fellowship with the Church in 1907. In November of 1907, Mason along with others formed the Church of God In Christ.
Rev. Charles Mason built the Church of God in Christ on the doctrine given on the Day of Pentecost to the Disciples (Act 2:41). The early church began meeting in Mississippi, but soon after relocated to Memphis Tennessee in 1925. Mason Temple, the church headquarters, was completed in 1940. Once known as the largest Black owned structure in Memphis, Mason Temple was financed by church members who were sharecroppers, cotton pickers, and domestic servants.
The church has attracted various famous African Americans including the Winan’s Family of entertainers, the Clark Sisters Gospel Singers and Rev. T.D. Jakes a leading televangelist and spiritual leader. The funeral of Malcolm X in 1965 was held at Faith Temple COGIC in Harlem, New York. Three years later, Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Mountain Top” Speech was given at Mason Temple the night prior to his assassination. Mason Temple was also used as a meeting location for Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike in 1968 that brought Dr. King to the city.
A number of other religious denominations have evolved out of the COGIC including the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, the United Pentecostal Church International and the largest group, the mostly white Assemblies of God which separated from the COGIC in 1914. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is the most famous member of this denomination.
With millions of members, the Church of God in Christ has expanded its following throughout the world. It now has churches on every continent. Each year over 50,000 representatives of those churches gather at a National Holy Convocation at Mason Temple to fellowship and worship keeping the tradition started by Bishop Mason in 1940. These conventions also allow church leaders to plan the future of the church.
1. Founder of Church
Believe that Bishop (Reverend) Charles Harrison Mason is the founder of the Church of God in Christ.
Do not refute this
2. Holy Ghost (Spirit) Baptism
Believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit still exist today and that those who experience it will be able to speak in tongues like the apostles in the first century.
"We believe that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an experience subsequent to conversion and sanctification and that tongue-speaking is the consequence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost with the manifestations of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Acts 10:46, 19:1-6). We believe that we are not baptized with the Holy Ghost in order to be saved (Acts 19:1-6; John 3:5). When one receives a baptismal Holy Ghost experience, we believe one will speak with a tongue unknown to oneself according to the sovereign will of Christ. To be filled with the Spirit means to be Spirit controlled as expressed by Paul in Ephesians 5:18-19." What We Believe © Church Of God In Christ, Inc. 2015-20
3. Spiritual Gifts
Believe that the Holy Spirit Baptism is not necessary for salvation but the Charismatic experience is mandatory of all men today.
" Since the charismatic demonstrations were necessary to help the early church to be successful in implementing the command of Christ, we therefore, believe that a Holy Ghost experience is mandatory for all men today." What We Believe, © Church Of God In Christ, Inc. 2015-20
Believe that man is born in sin.
"We believe that man was created holy by God, composed of body and soul. We believe that man, by nature, is sinful and unholy. Being born in sin, he needs to be born again, sanctified and cleansed from all sins by the blood of Jesus. We believe that man is saved by confessing and forsaking his sins, and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, and that having become a child of God, by being born again and adopted into the family of God, he may, and should, claim the inheritance of the sons of God, namely the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
What We Believe, © Church Of God In Christ, Inc. 2015-20
Baptism of the Holy Spirit wrought by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Do not believe that "water" baptism saves.
"Salvation deals with the application of the work of redemption to the sinner with his restoration to divine favor and communion with God. This redemptive operation of the Holy Ghost upon sinners is brought about by repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ which brings conversion, faith, justification regeneration, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Repentance is the work of God, which results in a change of mind in respect to man’s relationship to God. (St. Matthew 3:1-2, 4:17; Acts 20:21). Faith is a certain conviction wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, as to the truth of the Gospel and a heart trust in the promises of God in Christ (Romans 1:17, 3:28; St. Matthew 9:22; Acts 26:18). Conversion is that act of God whereby He causes the regenerated sinner, in his conscious life, to turn to Him in repentance and faith (II Kings 5:15; II Chronicles 33:12-13; St. Luke 19:8, 9; Acts 8:30). Regeneration is that act of God by which the principle of the new life is implanted in man, and the governing disposition of soul is made holy and the first holy exercise of this new disposition is secured. Sanctification is that gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Ghost, by which He delivers the justified sinner from the pollution of sin, renews his whole nature in the image of God and enables him to perform good works (Romans 6:4;5:6; Colossians 2:12; 3:1) What We Believe,
6. Divine Healing
The Church of God in Christ believes that just Jesus commanded his apostles to heal that it is also commanded for disciples of Jesus are to do the same today.
" The Church of God in Christ believes in and practices Divine Healing. It is a commandment of Jesus to the Apostles (St. Mark 16:18). Jesus affirms his teachings on healing by explaining to His disciples, who were to be Apostles, that healing the afflicted is by faith (St. Luke 9:40-41). Therefore, we believe that healing by faith in God has scriptural support and ordained authority. St. James’ writings in his epistle encourage Elders to pray for the sick, lay hands upon them and to anoint them with oil, and that prayers with faith shall heal the sick and the Lord shall raise them up. Healing is still practiced widely and frequently in the Church of God in Christ, and testimonies of healing in our Church testify to this fact." What We Believe, © Church Of God In Christ, Inc. 2015-20
Believe that they are still preforming miracles just as we read about in the Bible today.
"The Church of God in Christ believes that miracles occur to convince men that the Bible is God’s Word. A miracle can be defined as an extraordinary visible act of Divine power, wrought by the efficient agency of the will of God, which has as its final cause the vindication of the righteousness of God’s word. We believe that the works of God, which were performed during the beginnings of Christianity, do and will occur even today where God is preached, Faith in Christ is exercised, The Holy Ghost is active, and the Gospel is promulgated in the truth (Acts 5:15; 6:8; 9:40; Luke 4:36, 7:14-15; 5:5-6; St. Mark 14:15)"
What We Believe, © Church Of God In Christ, Inc. 2015-20
8. Use instruments of Music in Worship
Do not refute this
9. Three Ordinances of The Church
"The Church Of God In Christ recognizes three ordinances as having been instituted by Christ himself and therefore, binding upon the church practice.
A. THE LORD’S SUPPER (HOLY COMMUNION)
The Lord’s Supper symbolizes the Lord’s death and suffering for the benefit and in the place of His people. It also symbolizes the believer’s participation in the crucified Christ. It represents not only the death of Christ as the object of faith which unites the believers to Christ, but also the effect of this act as the giving of life, strength, and joy to the soul. The communicant by faith enters into a special spiritual union of his soul with the glorified Christ.
B. FEET WASHING
Feet Washing is practiced and recognized as an ordinance in our Church because Christ, by His example, showed that humility characterized greatness in the Kingdom of God, and that service, rendered to others gave evidence that humility, motivated by love, exists. These services are held subsequent to the Lord’s Supper; however, its regularity is left to the discretion of the Pastor in charge.
C. WATER BAPTISM
We believe that Water Baptism is necessary as instructed by Christ in St. John 3:5, “UNLESS MAN BE BORN AGAIN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT.”
However, we do not believe that water baptism alone is a means of salvation, but is an outward demonstration that one has already had a conversion experience and has accepted Christ as his personal Savior. As Pentecostals, we practice immersion in preference to “SPRINKLING” , because immersion corresponds more closely to the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord (Colossians 2:12). It also symbolizes regeneration and purification more than any other mode. Therefore, we practice immersion as our mode of Baptism. We believe that we should use the Baptismal Formula given us by Christ for all “…IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER , AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST.” (St. Matthew 28:19)" What We Believe © Church Of God In Christ, Inc. 2015-20
10. BAPTISM (Which ONE)
The church of God in Christ practice two (2) baptisms today and do not believe that either one is for salvation nor adds one to Christ.
"We believe that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an experience subsequent to conversion and sanctification and that tongue-speaking is the consequence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost with the manifestations of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Acts 10:46, 19:1-6). We believe that we are not baptized with the Holy Ghost in order to be saved (Acts 19:1-6; John 3:5)." What We Believe, © Church Of God In Christ, Inc. 2015-20
"we do not believe that water baptism alone is a means of salvation, but is an outward demonstration that one has already had a conversion experience and has accepted Christ as his personal Savior." What We Believe, © Church Of God In Christ, Inc. 2015-20
WRONG TIME: 1907 A. D.
WRONG PLACE: Memphis, Tennessee
WRONG FOUNDER: Charles Harrison Mason
1. Jesus Christ is not a co-founder of His church with any man or woman ever born. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus ONLY built HIS Church. Matthew 16:18. He is the ONLY Head of HIS Church Ephesians 5:23.
Jesus Christ is the ONLY FOUNDER of HIS Church!
1. The purpose of Holy Ghost (Spirit) Baptism was to fill a define need. It was to endow the APOSTLES with power to accurately recall and teach the truth, John 14:26; to be guided into new truth, John 16:13; and to CONFIRM their mission and their message with miracles, Mark 16:20, Hebrews 2:3,4. When Cornelius and his house received it, it was so assure the Gentiles and to convince the Jews that salvation is for Gentiles the same as for Jews, Acts 11:18; 15:7,8. All of this has already taken place in the first century! This does not apply to any member of the COGIC or anyone else TODAY.
2. The Apostles spoke in tongues - which were languages that could be understood, Acts 2:4-6. They could also do other miraculous things, Acts 2:43; 5:12.
3. There are ONLY two recorded cases in the New Testament; Acts 2, the Jews; and Acts 10, the Gentiles. Joel's prophecy was FULFILLED when all flesh - both Jews and Gentiles received it.
The APOSTLES (Jesus chose) ...not pretenders today, were to be witnesses for Christ; Jesus did not send them out without power to confirm the mission He gave them and the message He gave them as both being of Divine authority. Christ assured THEM (the APOSTLES) that THEY would receive this POWER when the HOLY SPIRT (GHOST) came upon THEM in a BAPTISMAL degree, Acts 1:5; 1:8 Luke 24:49. Some of the powers that they had are as followers (Read Mark 16:17-20). The APOSTLES could ALSO raise the dead, Acts 9:41; 20:12. We are in a PANDEMIC TODAY where are these folks that can do what the APOSTLES did? If men today receive the same baptism, they would have the same powers; if not, why not? If they do not have miraculous manifestations (NOT some "experience") that accompanied HOLY GHOST baptism, it is evident that they do NOT have this baptism.
1. The Holy Spirit baptism was ALWAYS a promise and NEVER a Command. While the COGIC may "command" some type of "experience" they can not biblically command the Holy Spirt baptism. They don't have that authority! It was only PROMISED to the APOSTLES for two special OCASSIONS (Review #3 above)
2. The "Charismatic demonstrations" are NO LONGER necessary in the church today as it was in the early church because the only means to get it was:
(1) Baptism of the Holy Spirt (Acts 2:4, 43).
(2) Laying on of hands of the apostles (Acts 8:14-18; 19:1-7). The last occurrence was about A.D. 41. twenty three years thereafter Paul wrote that there is "one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). About the same time Peter wrote that baptism is in water (I Peter 3:20,21). Continue under BAPTISM (Which ONE?)
1. Are babies born sinners? It is true that babies are born into a sinful world, that is one thing. To teach that they (babies) come into the world with inherited (automatic) sin contradicts the Bible.
2. Jesus came into the world and was born as a baby. Was Jesus born a sinner? Wow! could you imagine the implications of this if that was true? Where did this teaching come from?
Calvinism is a system of theology developed by John Calvin (1509-1564) which has greatly influenced denominational teaching since the days of the Reformation. Actually, much of this doctrine finds its origin in the writings of Augustine (354-430) who lived during a period when religious leaders were debating the sovereignty of God and its relation to the free will of man. Pelagius (350-425) was a British monk who challenged the position held by Augustine. When the question was formally debated in Rome, the “church council” favored Augustine and condemned the teaching of Pelagius as heretical. All religious historians refer to this event as a crucial decision that changed the course of religion.
When the Protestant Reformation occurred 1100 years later, many of the doctrines of Catholicism were brought over to the new denominations being formed. Most of the early reformers were not trying to birth “new” churches. They were attempting to “reform” the Catholic Church by correcting errors which they believed had crept into the church. Such was true of the early work of John Calvin who made an attempt to bring Catholicism back to the old Augustinian principles emphasizing the sovereignty of God which he felt had been abandoned. Needless to say, he was rejected and had to flee for his life. Though his work was not received by the Catholic Church it has been indelibly stamped into the religious thought of the denominational world.
Calvin formulated five points in his system of theology which are commonly represented by the acrostic: TULIP. (l) Total Hereditary Depravity; (2) Unconditional Election; (3) Limited Atonement; (4) Irresistible Grace; and (5) Perseverance of the Saints.
T- Stands for Total Hereditary Depravity which basically teaches that man is born sinful.
Calvinism stands or falls on the doctrine of Total Hereditary Depravity. If the claim be true that man does not have the ability to choose good over evil, then obviously no one could be righteous unless God makes him so. Such a doctrine not only denies the free will choice of man, it leaves God to blame if anyone is left lost and unchosen by Him, Acts 10:34-35; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 Tim. 2:4-6. Therefore the doctrine of Total Hereditary Depravity is false not only because of its untenable consequences, but also because the doctrine itself contradicts plain scriptures which teach that each person is responsible for himself before God, Ezek. 18:20; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom 14:12.
.1. Baptism only PROMISED to the APOSTLES Acts 1: 4-5
2. Those in the first century obtained salvation by
(1) Hearing God's Word (Acts 10:17), (2) Believing the Word/ Having a faith (Hebrews 11:6), Repentance (Acts 2:38), Confess Christ (Matthew 10:32) and be baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38/ Romans 6:3-5).
God created the first man and first woman miraculously. Since then, with a few exceptions, the human race has multiplied through the operation of the natural law. Had God chosen to have done so, He could have continued to make men out of the dust of the earth and breathe into their nostrils the breath of life. We all recognize that God did not choose to do so.
God performed miracles through certain men. Our question is NOT could God enable men today to perform miracles as He once did, but is He granting them such POWER now. So this is NOT a question of God's power -but of God's plan.
1. The need for miracles has ceased. God enabled men to perform miracles in times past to spread and confirm TURTH.
-He did it with Moses (Exodus 4:1-8, 29, 30.
- Jesus did it (Matthew 11:2-5; John 20:30-31).
-It was done with the Apostles (Mark 16:17-20)
Listen carefully: The gospel that THEY preached in the first century was a new message THEY were to take to all the world. How could they PROVE that Christ had sent them? THEY had no BIBLE - the New Testament had not been written. So the Lord PROMISED THEM special POWER (Luke 24:46-48, Acts 1:5,8), through which they were able to convince the world that He sent them and was with them, and that they were preaching the truth.
The apostles had power to lay their hands on others and likewise enable them to confirm their messages of truth with signs and miracles (Acts 6:6, 8:6, 8:14, 18).
TRUTH IS NOW CONFIRMED
(Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:3,4).
TRUTH FOREVER CONFIRMED...Does Jesus have to come back and raise Lazarus from the dead again, and do His other miracles in order for us to believe that He is the Son of God? Do the apostles have to come back?
If a court proved a man innocent of a charge, does it have to convene and reconfirm this man's innocence every year?
We now have the evidence in writing (John 20:30-31) - the written word of God. Faith NOW comes by hearing the WORD (Romans 10:17). The Bible (Word) completely supplies us today (2 Timothy 3:16-17). If a person will not be convinced by the Bible , he would not be convinced if one should rise from the dead (Luke 16:19-31).
They claim to have the Holy Spirit yet ADD mechanical music to their worship, although we are NOT to add to divine revelation (Revelation 22:18, 19); and the Bible commands the KIND of music God wants us to use, "Singing." (Ephesians 5:19).
Not in Christian worship as revealed in Testament. Leading reformist have opposed it, including Charles Spurgeon.
. The Lord's Supper is to be take every week on the first day of the week. Act 20:7
1. Feet washing was an example of humility NOT a mandated practice.
1. 4. Acts 2:38: Baptism is "for remission of sins
2. Mark 16:16; baptism proceeds salvation.
2. Acts 2:38: for remission of sins
3. John 3:5: birth of WATER and SPIRIT essential to entering the Kingdom of heaven.
4. Galatians 3:27: to enter Christ (saved without Christ?)
5. I Peter 3:21: baptism saves...The Bible says this, there is not one scripture that says "baptism does not save".
6. Acts 22:16: sins washed away at baptism.
7. Romans 6:3-4; baptized into Christ's death and into HIS body, the church. I Corinthians 12:20.
8. Galatians 3:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 12:20. Baptism ushers one (1) into Christ and at the same time (2) into His body, His church (not any man made church started after the Day of Pentecost,
The COGIC promotes two baptisms.
1. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3: 11b); Mark 1:8b; Luke 3:16b; John 1:33b; Acts 1:15b; Acts 11:16). This was a promised baptism that was fulfilled in the apostles and to the household of Cornelius. At no time was anyone ever commanded to be baptized in the Holy Spirit nor is it ever said that the Holy Spirit put anyone into Christ.
2. Water Baptism commanded by Jesus and the Apostles. (Matthew 28:19,20; mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12, 13, 16; Romans 6:3,4; 1 Corinthians 1:13, 14, 15, 16, 17; 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4:4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21).
According to Paul there is now ONLY ONE baptism (Ephesians 4:5). The water baptism administered by the disciples ON and AFTER the day of Pentecost to penitent believes is that ONE. It is the ONE that saves (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). Any church or person that believe that more than ONE baptism is enforce today is in error.